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The Gathering Place

We have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling. II Corinthians 5:1-2

It’s a done deal.

At the end of June, the sale of my father’s house was complete.

Documents were signed, funds released, and the ownership of my childhood home was transferred to another family. (See recent post, The Key to My Father’s House).

Cue sound of front door slowly creaking to a close ...

House closing? How appropriate.

While it's an answer to collective prayer among my siblings for the house to sell quickly while it was still a seller's market, I still ache. I expect I always will experience a twinge of sorrow when I recall the reality of it all.

I began to wonder at underlying reasons for the difficulty in letting go of what is merely a physical structure with a definitive address located on a quiet neighborhood street in southwest Houston.

“It's hard because it holds many special memories.”

My default response—repeatedly offered up by well-meaning sympathizers—no longer satisfied.

Memories aren't required to be contained in a house in order for us to enjoy them.

There's more to this subtle groaning.

"It was the gathering place."

The fragile reality trailed out on a withered sigh, my eyes watery when I uttered it.

This was the place where me and my family gathered.

It was a sure and certain, unchanging location, welcoming and safe and comfortable, an address I'd memorized from the time I was four.

It was lived in and cared for and enjoyed and, just … home.

Where will we stay now?

Where will our family celebrate?

Where will be sit and laugh about the time my brother hid in the cabinet beneath my parent’s bathroom sink and shut off the flow of water during their 25th wedding anniversary party—duly startled one wide-eyed guest when said brother got the stream flowing again?

Where will we ponder the goodness of the Lord to our family? The discipline and shenanigans (that brother again) and tears of joy—and sadness?

Where, Lord?

I am your gathering place.

In His kindness, God redirected my spiraling thoughts and turned them heavenward.

We're supposed to desire a gathering place with the people we consider family. We're supposed to be restless and a little achy here.

Because ... As long as we're at home in the body we are away from the Lord ... we would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. II Corinthians 5:6, 8

There will be no closing on our eternal house—a gathering place in the presence of God.

While we wait for our sovereignly appointed move-in day, let's encourage one another with the promise that the gatherings God enables us to enjoy are only a reflection of the joy we’ll have in our forever home where we'll be fully clothed in a heavenly dwelling.

Do you have a place you typically gather with family? Or one that's no longer available to you?

How does the promise of our heavenly dwelling help you through difficult times of waiting?

Speaking of gathering places ... If you're as fascinated by houses as I am and believe they have stories to tell, I invite you to check out my latest release, You Are the Reason, book 1 in The Heart of Moreland Manor (details below). It features an 1846 antebellum house inspired by Madewood Mansion in Napoleonville, Louisiana, and an heiress who is obligated to restore her inheritance to its former glory.

Will Moreland Manor get its happily ever after?

Thanks for reading!

If you were inspired by today's post and know others who would enjoy it, I'd be super grateful if you'd share.

Until next time,

✏️You Are the Reason, Book #1 in Heart of Moreland Manor released June 25th!! #Felkinsfiction #inspirational #romance.

What if you didn't want your inheritance but it led to your greatest dream?

✏️ This I Promise You, the prequel to the Heart of Moreland Manor series. Available in ebook and paperback. What if finding your heart's desire means entrusting it ... just once more ... to the one who broke it?

✏️If you'd like to receive inspirational posts and/or quarterly author newsletter with bookish giveaways, subscribe here. You'll have the opportunity to download the first 3 chapters of Call to Love, my debut inspirational romance, for FREE!


Katherine Pasour
Katherine Pasour

Your message touched me in a tender spot as I am trying to keep my parents' house from tumbling down into a pile of rubble. Like your home, "Grandma's house" was our gathering place. I drive past the empty, neglected house whenever I leave my home. It's a constant reminder to me of the life that once thrived there. Thank you for taking the message one step further--soon we will gather together in His dwelling.

Mary A. Felkins
Mary A. Felkins

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Katherine. Boy, it would be difficult to have an empty family house in sight like your grandma's. Here's to the assurance that the Lord has prepared our eternal house for all those who walked with Jesus before they left their earthly house!

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